Tea with Anne at The Parlour

Monday, February 13, 2012

There are few things as wonderful as an unexpected call from a friend who lives 9000km away, and who has suddenly happened upon your local town for tea.

It is almost as if an impromptu tea date like this is filled with magic and the potential for all things wonderful. There's nothing a cup of tea can't cure, methinks. Or, in my case: a cappuccino with heart-swirled froth, served with a miniature ice cream.

















And, just in case you didn't notice it the first time (and because I was rather amused and delighted):

















Why, yes, that is a teeny tiny wafer cone filled with chocolate ice cream treats. This is, as you can tell, my second cup. The first one came with coffee-flavoured ice cream. Yum.

The lovely Anne and I met up at The Parlour at the amazing Fortnum and Mason's on Picadilly.

















F&M is a food-lover's heaven, with aged wooden shelves stacked up with treats and wonderful things like shortbread, fudge, biscuits, marmalade and suchlikes. They also do amazing homely things hampers, fabric pinboards, designer shower caps (!) and decadent soaps. While I'm on the topic, F&M are celebrating the Queen's Jubilee with all things British and wonderful, and I couldn't walk past the bottles of Majestic Marmalade without taking a photo. See what you think.






















Have a closer look. Do you see that the Majestic Marmalade has little floating bits of gold leaf in it? Majestic, indeed! But I digress.

The Parlour is a lovely tea-taking venue. It isn't too busy or too quiet, it is private enough for a cosy chat, and they have cake.

















This is their Sacher Torte, recommended by the charming waiter.

















And this is their Esterhazy Cake, which we chose because it was laden with hazelnuts and buttercream - who could resist?

We shared our cake and caught up - Anne was in London for the day with her brother who was on a business trip so we had the whole afternoon to ourselves. We spent hours browsing the F&M wares for inspiration and treats, and we made our way down Picadilly for a bit of browsing.

















Look! Heart cheese for Valentine's Day from Paxton & Whitfield Cheese Company. F&M is in an excellent location for a lovely afternoon, and it was the ideal location for our tea date. It's a bit pricier than the average tea shoppe, but I'd definitely recommend it for adding a bit of magic to an ordinary cuppa, especially if you have a few hours afterwards to enjoy the five floors of shopping and the amazing boutique shops nearby.

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